So our ASD son is now 12 going on 18, and is about to embark on the Summer Term of his Secondary School career where we have been flexi schooling him. Has it worked?
Well, reader, it has! You might remember that we embarked on this road with no small degree of trepidation. The Secondary School seemed enormously supportive, but previous experience had led us to discover that, outward appearances can be deceptive.
However, in this case I am happy to report that the opposite has been true. Our son’s school has exceeded all our expectations. He will say that he likes school now, not a phrase I ever expected to hear. He can identify his subject strengths and weaknesses, has made friends, LOVES having lunch there, and likes his teachers. Currently he is in school 4 afternoons a week. Outside of this he does Pilates, music studio and an hour a day with me home schooling. The plan for next term is to increase to two additional morning lessons per week, before lunch.
Highlights of our year:
- Our son being able to attend the residential course in the first term, in the daytime
- Doing a full day’s school trip,travelling by coach
- Earning house points
- Excelling at Science
- extreme fatigue, causing his referral to the Chronic Fatigue Team locally, and his initial timetable was scaled back
- difficulties managing his anxiety, needing medication reviews
- expressing suicidal thoughts
- not coping well on our Easter family holiday
Given my last few points, you might be wondering why I am describing the transition as a successful one! It is because whenever difficulties have arisen we have not been alone in dealing with them, but have had a solid team of school staff behind us, who have helped us to engage with the right professionals. Also, that our son has been able to cope with these challenges and continues to grow stronger and more able. He is thriving in his environment. The combination of approaches to his education is proving to be the right one for him.
Next time let’s talk more about fatigue…